WASHINGTON — One week before Election Day 2020 and just over two months before the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, an internal FBI analysis concluded that domestic violent extremists were “very willing to take action” in response to a disputed election but that “law enforcement preemption” and the “disorganization” of extremist groups “likely would hinder widespread violence.”
The so-called red cell report — the type of exercise that became widespread after the federal government’s Sept. 11 intelligence failures and are meant to challenge conventional wisdom and encourage outside-the-box thinking — was titled “Alternative Analysis: Potential Scenarios for Reactions of Domestic Violent Extremists to a Disputed 2020 US Presidential Election.” NBC News obtained a redacted copy of the report through a Freedom of Information Act request.
. . . And both an inspiration & challenge to Quakers & other people of faith.
Thank you to the Times for implicitly acknowledging this. And to Obama for commuting her prison sentence.
Chelsea Manning: ‘I’m Still Bound to Secrecy’
By Chelsea Manning
Ms. Manning is an American activist and the author of the forthcoming memoir “README.txt,” from which this essay has been adapted.
It is not possible to work in intelligence and not imagine disclosing the many secrets you bear.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when the idea first crossed my mind. Maybe it was in 2008, when I was learning to be an intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army and was exposed to sensitive information for the first time. Or maybe the germ of the idea was planted when I was stationed at Fort Drum, in upstate New York. I was tasked with transporting a cache of classified hard drives in a large box in the summer heat, and I began to imagine what might happen if I screwed it up and left the box unattended. If someone managed to get ahold of a stray hard drive, what ripple effects might it cause?
I knew the official version of why these secrets had to be kept secret. We were protecting sources. We were protecting troop movements. We were protecting national security. Those things made sense. But it also seemed, to me, that we were protecting ourselves.
While I felt that my job was important, and I took my obligations seriously, a part of me always wondered: If we were acting ethically, why were we keeping so many secrets?
The monthsI spent in Iraq in 2009changed the way I understood the world. Every night, I woke up in the desert at 9 p.m. and walked from my tiny trailer to the Saddam Hussein-era basketball court that the military had converted into an intelligence operations center.